I’ve noticed that I haven’t posted an article in a little bit. I’ve also noticed that my articles lack something. Me. I mean, I’m writing them, but I think it might be important to write a little bit about myself. The question now is, where do I begin? How do I get you to know me better? Well, if you’re here, I suppose I’ll tell you a little bit about my professional history.
Right after high school (and a little bit during) I worked at Nortel Networks as a web administrator, web master (do people still use that term?), and a member of the wireless broadband team – of some sort. I was 17 years old and living the life I thought I’d be living! Making money hand over fist, saving up for my first home! My goal was, by the time I was 25 I would by my first home on my own. After working there for a year, the bubble busted and I was forced to take a bit of a vacation while looking for a job in a market that was so saturated with technical wiz-kids like myself. I eventually got a break when my brother mentioned they were looking for people at Compaq Canada. So, there I was, starting out as a contractor.
I was young, driven, intelligent, knowledgeable, creative, naïve, foolish, and headstrong. All things that would have made me a superstar if I was in the right environment – sadly, I wasn’t. Eventually, Compaq Canada was merged with Hewlett-Packard Canada; it actually got worse. The environment and many of the people who were in charge – and I use the term loosely – were extremely toxic. As we all know, toxic people need to be ejected from one’s life to have less stress in your life. Those people were the reason why I became so toxic.
After working in the IT field from the age of 17 to 28, I’ve pretty well had my fill of the politics and toxic people. However, what I didn’t realize at the time – I developed many transferable skills while there (more on this later). In 2008 some things changed for me, I got married, I changed careers and became a form work carpenter – building foundations in the Ottawa area. Which leads me into how I became a home inspector. Following a work related injury, I had to stop building foundations. Living on my savings, I decided to go back to school and become a Certified Home Inspector. In 2013, I finished college, my savings were dwindling (gone really), I started a new business (Avelar Home Inspection), and my marriage fell apart for various popular reasons.
So, now (2013), I’m alone (literally on my own with any kind of support at all) and I decided that I’m not going to loose the house I bought when I was 26 (a year late, but I did it on my own). So, I started another business and put my house up for rent. Thankfully, my close fiends needed a place to live – and love the area (Bells Corners). I left my home, and did what every 34 year dreams of doing … move back in with mom and dad. Thankful, they have supported me for the last two years by letting me set up shop in their home. I’m very lucky and very thankful for my parents – I love them very much.
The first two years were very difficult for me, but not all for business reasons. The loss of my home, and marriage, and my finances weighted heavily on me for two years. Also, still dealing with the injury I received at work and fighting with WSIB – and then deciding the fight just wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t going to give up though. I worked hard to get my name out there and to distinguish myself from other home inspectors that have been in the market for years. And new inspectors coming around.
As a new home inspector I did what most do in Ontario – join the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors – it seemed like a good idea. $650 out of my line of credit… and no ROI. I was a little upset. The organization was not very organized at all. I couldn’t get anyone to review my reports, I couldn’t get anyone to mentor me unless I gave up my customers or paid another inspector to join them on one of their inspections. The thing everyone always said: We may be competitors but we should help each other out. Yeah… there was advice given (sort of), and knowledge was definitely shared. But as far as following the steps to become a Registered Home Inspector (RHI)? It just didn’t work unless you had money to throw around – no thank you: 1) I didn’t have the money. 2) Even if I did have the money, I wouldn’t.
I still follow the CAHPI standards of practice because I was trained by Carson Dunlop to do so, and the standards make sure I do an excellent job. I do go above the standards in most situations, especially since I scan exterior walls with my nifty FLIR camera and use my extensive knowledge and experience in communications to work for me. Which leads me into why you should choose me as a home inspector: I’m honest to a fault. I have over 20 years of customer service, focusing on business to business customers. I am able to communicate extremely well and keep the situation calm and focused.
What was my most stressful situation at Hewlett-Packard (other than the toxic people I had to deal with and work for that completely soured my personality)? I was an Tactical Incident Manager on the AT&T account. I had made myself a name over there at AT&T as a man who can get things done, and get people moving to get things fixed. The Vice President calls me up before I even get notified by my people there is a problem. “Mike, we have a server down and we’re going to be loosing four million dollars and hour. We need this fixed.” Got the information I need from him and replied “I’ll call you back in fifteen minutes.” Needless to say, the situation was resolved within the hour, the VP was very very happy since it could have gone south really fast.
Eventually, I started to join referral networking groups. Until I found one that was really comfortable for me. In 2015 I joined GR Business Networking group here in Ottawa. I was looking for networking relationships, and hoping to develop my social skills a bit more. I ended up meeting the love of my life. We are now partners in a few business ventures and we want to build an excellent life for us to live. That is pretty motivational, believe you me! It’s really hard to get my foot in the door, but it’s starting to open slowly. If you hire me as your home inspector, you won’t be disappointed. I have the best bang for your buck. A fair price, and knowledge and experience that will help you learn – not be afraid.